I remember when my kids were younger, regularly thinking, I need to get through (insert infant or toddler phase), and life will surely get easier.
Spoiler alert! It does not get easier. In fact, with three older kids and a full-time job, it has acquired more chaotic. I have learned that the only way to survive the chaos is to embrace it.
As the kids get older, their personalities and opinions start to develop. They stay up later, want social lives, and want to participate in activities. The occasions where the five of us are all together are few and far between. With three kids, it is often necessary to employ a third adult to help out, as each child is usually required to be in different places at the same time.
There are some foolproof ways to manage the chaos that works for me. I order groceries online, review the calendar with my husband as often as possible, and make lists and meal plans. Perhaps the most important thing is to take advantage of the quiet days when one approaches. I have taught myself that because there is a free day on the calendar, we do not need to plan something. It is good for all of us.
I am also enough of a veteran parent to know that this is all just a phase. In not many more years, my children will be able to drive themselves, they will not require as much supervision, and we will be able to leave them home alone. Sometimes, I daydream of these days as I daydreamed of what I was doing today when I was in the trenches with babies and toddlers.